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Author: Subject: Dickey's song "Tombstone Eyes"

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 08:30 PM
"Tombstone Eyes" appears on Dickey's fist LP after the fax. I heard it with the ABB in concert with different lyrics pertaining to them at Rose Hill: "Not so long ago, just a little while back. We used to hang out by the railroad tracks" was the first line. Does anyone have those original lyrics?
 
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Peach Master



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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 09:05 PM
Tombstone Eyes
by Dickey Betts
(c) 1996 Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.

This transcription comes from the song Tombstone Eyes played on July 26, 1996 in Toronto, Ontario. The lyrics will vary from show to show because they are not set in stone yet, but this is what Dickey sang on July 26.

Transcribed by Nathan Yerg

Not so long ago, just a few years back
We used to hang out down by the railroad tracks.
The guitars they played and the singers made rhyme
It was a good time for being free.

Bouquet of flowers on her kitchen window sill
We listened to Bob Dylans new stuff
He'd just done in Jacksonville
Lay down on the hillside and look up at the sky
We had it all you and I.

And the lives we were living started to feel like yesterday
People started driftin and goin' their separate ways
The wind started blowin and the sky began to cry
You and I we didnt make it, I wished we'd never said goodbye

Chorus:
I hope I never see those eyes again
Eyes that used tobe my best friend's
And we gave it all away for the diamonds in the dust
With a hungry voice still howlin in the wind
A heart of stone no longer lasts, her eyes no longer cry
I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.
And I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.

(Not real sure about this next verse, but here's what it sounds like.)
No more religious message, just a story to tell
About Piedmont Park on Sunday
Peace and love, heaven and hell.
I'm a mean beat street drifter, with the sun shining from a face
Ah but that was long ago, another time, another place.

Chorus

 

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 09:09 PM
Thanks. The version I heard in '98? had a chorus "Good Times Don't Fade Away" though.
 

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 09:51 PM
Big fan of the song, but not the version he did with the DBB. I liked the versions he did with the abb, with him singing and Warren, Jack, and Derek playing slide over it

 

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 09:57 PM
LP, I agree with Old Time Fan. There are a few subtle differences, but I have a live version from 6-22-96 at the Lakeside Ampitheater that matches up very well with the "Let's Get Together" version. That was only a few days before the obviously (and admittedly flawed transcription) that deadhead (and I) found posted several places on the internet.

Here's what I heard:

Not so long ago, just a few years back
We used to hang out down by the railroad tracks.
The guitars played and the singers made rhymes
It was a good time for being free.

Bouquet of flowers on her kitchen window sill
We listened to Bob Dylan's new stuff
He'd just done in Nashville
We'd lie there on the hillside and look up at the sky
We had it all you and I.

And the lives we were living started to feel like yesterday
People started driftin and goin' their separate ways
The wind started blowin and the sky began to cry
You and I we didnt make it, I wished her well and I said goodbye

Chorus:
I know I'll never see those eyes again
Eyes that used to be my best friend
And we gave it all away for the diamonds in the dust
While the hungry ghosts were howling in the wind
A heart of stone no longer lasts, her eyes no longer cry
And I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.

There's no moral, there's no message
Just a story to tell
About Piedmont Park on Sundays
Peace and Love
Heaven and Hell
How the Peachtree Street grifters stole the sunshine from her face
Not so long ago, another time another place

Repeat Chorus

Thanks for bringing this up. I really like this song. Warren does a nice job of singing harmony and playing slide on the 96 version; I wish they recorded it.

[Edited on 11/6/2008 by jdorman60]

 

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 10:01 PM
To me the "Good times don't fade away" chorus resolves the opening Rose Hill reference. I'd like to find a good recording of the ABB version.

[Edited on 11/6/2008 by lespaul58]

 

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 10:47 PM
"Tombstone Eyes" was originally written about an old girl friend of Dickey's and the beginning's of herion addiction. It was played from 1996 to early-mid 1997.

Here's his lyrics from May 3, 1996
Not so long ago, just a few years back
We used to hang out down by the railroad tracks.
The guitars they played and the singers made rhyme
It was a good time for being free.

Bouquet of flowers on her kitchen window sill
We listened to Bob Dylans new stuff
He'd just done in Jacksonville (He'd just done in Nashville)
Lay down on the hillside and look up at the sky
We had it all you and I.

And the lives we were living started to feel like yesterday
People started driftin and goin' their separate ways
The wind started blowin and the sky began to cry
You and I we didnt make it, I wished we'd never said goodbye

Chorus:
I hope I never see those eyes again
Eyes that used tobe my best friend's
And we gave it all away for the diamonds in the dust
With a hungry voice still howlin in the wind
A heart of stone no longer lasts, her eyes no longer cry
I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.
And I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.

(Not real sure about this next verse, but here's what it sounds like.)
No more religious message, just a story to tell (There's no moral, no message, just a story to tell)
About Piedmont Park on Sunday
Peace and love, heaven and hell.
I'm a mean beat street drifter, with the sun shining from a face (How the peachtree street drifters stole the sunshine from here face)
Ah but that was long ago, another time, another place.

Chorus

Then midway through 1997 he changed it to "Those Eyes Again", because he thought "Tombstone" was to dark of a song. No version was played in 1998, and in 99 he completely re-arranged it to "Good Times Don't Fade Away".

"Those Eyes Again" lyrics from September 19, 1997
Not so long ago, just a few years back
We used to hang out down by the railroad tracks
The guitars played and the singers made rhyme
It was a good time for being free
Bouquet of flowers on her kitchen window sill
We listened to Bob Dylan stuff, he'd just done Nashville
We lie there on the hillside, just look up at the sky
We had it all, you and I...you and I

We were living just the kind of life we always wanted to live
We gave to one another all there ever was to give
Don't know what just happened, guess it must have slipped my mind
Anyway we got all turned around, you went ???, I went blind

But I know someday I'll see your eyes again
Eyes that will forever be my friend
We had a love sweet as wine, no beginning and no end

And I know someday I'll see those....I'll see her eyes again


I've got a whole lot of memories, some stories to tell,
'bout Piedmont Park on Sunday, peace and love, heaven and hell
Her raven black hair and the mystery in her eyes
How we all pulled together and made the ???

And I know someday I'll see your eyes again
Eyes that will forever be my friend
We had a love sweet as wine, no beginning and no end
And I know someday I'll see those....someday I'll see her eyes again







 

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  posted on 11/5/2008 at 11:11 PM
quote:
"Tombstone Eyes" was originally written about an old girl friend of Dickey's and the beginning's of herion addiction. It was played from 1996 to early-mid 1997.

Here's his lyrics from May 3, 1996
Not so long ago, just a few years back
We used to hang out down by the railroad tracks.
The guitars they played and the singers made rhyme
It was a good time for being free.

Bouquet of flowers on her kitchen window sill
We listened to Bob Dylans new stuff
He'd just done in Jacksonville (He'd just done in Nashville)
Lay down on the hillside and look up at the sky
We had it all you and I.

And the lives we were living started to feel like yesterday
People started driftin and goin' their separate ways
The wind started blowin and the sky began to cry
You and I we didnt make it, I wished we'd never said goodbye

Chorus:
I hope I never see those eyes again
Eyes that used tobe my best friend's
And we gave it all away for the diamonds in the dust
With a hungry voice still howlin in the wind
A heart of stone no longer lasts, her eyes no longer cry
I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.
And I know I'll never see those tombstone eyes again.

(Not real sure about this next verse, but here's what it sounds like.)
No more religious message, just a story to tell (There's no moral, no message, just a story to tell)
About Piedmont Park on Sunday
Peace and love, heaven and hell.
I'm a mean beat street drifter, with the sun shining from a face (How the peachtree street drifters stole the sunshine from here face)
Ah but that was long ago, another time, another place.

Chorus

Then midway through 1997 he changed it to "Those Eyes Again", because he thought "Tombstone" was to dark of a song. No version was played in 1998, and in 99 he completely re-arranged it to "Good Times Don't Fade Away".

"Those Eyes Again" lyrics from September 19, 1997
Not so long ago, just a few years back
We used to hang out down by the railroad tracks
The guitars played and the singers made rhyme
It was a good time for being free
Bouquet of flowers on her kitchen window sill
We listened to Bob Dylan stuff, he'd just done Nashville
We lie there on the hillside, just look up at the sky
We had it all, you and I...you and I

We were living just the kind of life we always wanted to live
We gave to one another all there ever was to give
Don't know what just happened, guess it must have slipped my mind
Anyway we got all turned around, you went ???, I went blind

But I know someday I'll see your eyes again
Eyes that will forever be my friend
We had a love sweet as wine, no beginning and no end

And I know someday I'll see those....I'll see her eyes again


I've got a whole lot of memories, some stories to tell,
'bout Piedmont Park on Sunday, peace and love, heaven and hell
Her raven black hair and the mystery in her eyes
How we all pulled together and made the ???

And I know someday I'll see your eyes again
Eyes that will forever be my friend
We had a love sweet as wine, no beginning and no end
And I know someday I'll see those....someday I'll see her eyes again









One again the voice of authority gets it straight! Thanks, Clay. I saw an allusion to you feeling better....I have not been around much for the last couple of years but if you have had health challenges (I can relate) I wish you nothing but the best.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 10:47 AM
dickey should have sang the vocals for it on the album lets get together, the person singing lead vocals sounds awful on that song

[Edited on 11/6/2008 by matt05]

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:08 PM
"Tombstone Eyes" was the original song in 1996 when Warren was in the band.

In 1997 after Jack joined (and the song on hiatus) it was re-written and called "Those Eyes Again".

Then it went back on hiatus and came back in 1999 (in March, right before Jack left and then played throughout the year with Derek) as "Good Times (Don't Fade Away)".

I remember reading an interview in '00 with Dickey about his album at the time and he said he rewrote the lyrics because he felt that Gregg was always writing darker lyrics and he was always trying to somewhat balance that out. After his departure he realized his first set of lyrics were the best.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:08 PM
Yeah, well, Clay beat me to it! Plus he included lyrics, so never mind. Hi Clay! Hope you're doing well.
 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:15 PM
"Tombstone Eyes" is definitely the best title, and Dickey really should have sung it on Let's Get Together - the rearrangement made it sound like a Bon Jovi song. Either way, this song never really grew legs.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 03:36 PM
Dickey does a lot of deer hunting in my old hometown of Camden, AL. His guide/freind is a friend of mine. Has some great Dickey stories. He wrote Tombstone Eyes while on one of his trips to Camden.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 10:32 PM
I think y'all got a few things a little bit wrong.

'A heart of stone no longer lasts' is really "a heart of stone no longer laughs" (referring to himself right there). You all keep saying "I hope I'll never see her eyes again", when he did the studio version, he sings "I KNOW I'll never see those eyes again". Why would he not want to see her eyes again, he loved her, there is no way he's write 'I hope I'll never see those eyes again". He also laments "you and I didn't make it, never had a chance to say goodbye" because the she died and he's sad it turned out that way.

 

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